What is the Best Way to Clean Running Shoes?

Careful maintenance will extend the life of your running shoes, which begins by taking steps such as taking off laces and insoles from them and setting them aside.

Your shoes should be cleaned in the sink using cold water and mild laundry detergent, or you can add pine oil disinfectant if desired to inhibit bacteria and fungal growth.

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Running shoes can be costly, so stretching their lifespan by regularly washing them is one of the best ways to save money on new ones. Washing also eliminates bacteria that cause unpleasant foot odor and prevent you from enjoying activities you love as much as you should.

Before washing your shoes, it’s essential to read their care labels and determine whether or not they can be washed in a machine. If they can be washed in this way, a front-load washing machine is ideal as this protects the fabric from forceful tumbling; otherwise it is wiser to handwash. If uncertain, always err on the side of caution by hand washing.

When washing shoes, it is essential that the insoles and laces be removed so they can be thoroughly cleansed. Furthermore, using special shoe soap such as Sport Shoe Wash or Nikwax Sandal detergent will ensure proper cleansing – such detergents will protect fabric surfaces against damage from ordinary laundry detergents that can otherwise wreak havoc with them.

Once you have taken off the insoles and laces from your shoes, fill a bucket or sink with warm water along with mild laundry detergent or stain remover to wash your footwear in. Generally this should remove all dirt and grime, though for stubborn spots you might require brushing them off first or using a rag to scrub with. It is particularly important to focus on areas like toes and heels where dirt tends to collect.

Once you’ve scrubbed your shoes, the next step should be rinsing them off with clean water. Be mindful not to allow your shoes to completely submerge in water as this could damage fabric and weaken any adhesives that keep the shoes together. Once rinsed off, you may wish to stuff them with newspaper in order to absorb humidity more quickly and help the shoes dry more quickly.

Use of a dryer can be detrimental to the shoes, and isn’t as effective at extracting sweat from within them. Therefore, air drying your shoes after cleaning them is recommended in order to preserve their quality and avoid leaving them out in direct sunlight, which could cause them to fade over time.


As soon as your shoes become covered in caked-on mud, scuff marks, and grass stains, it’s time for a thorough cleaning. Cleaning running shoes regularly will extend their lifespan while keeping them feeling more fresh during runs and giving you confidence on slippery surfaces like snow or road salt.

Before washing your shoes, consult the care label to determine how best to do so. For fabric, canvas or mesh shoes made with materials like mild soap and sponge is sufficient in hand washing them; pull out laces and insoles from each shoe as you scrub to remove dirt, mud and grass stains using either toothbrushes or scrub brushes if possible – or spot treat stubborn stains using laundry detergent, bleach or dilute vinegar solutions as spot treatments if needed.

If your shoes feature removable insoles, cleaning them is also simple with soapy water and a brush or scrub brush. Rinse well after each use before allowing to air-dry fully – avoid leaving soaking too long as that could damage their shape and foam base.

Your shoes should also be placed in the washer, but beware not to overload it. Too much clothing could tangle up or damage your shoes while its high temperature could damage materials or fabrics. Furthermore, avoid placing them in the dryer as this will prematurely break them down.

Once your shoes have been cleaned, let them air dry with paper towels stuffed inside to absorb excess moisture and prevent the shoes from swelling or deforming as they dry – this process may take up to 12 hours but following these simple steps will extend their life while keeping you comfortable while running.


If your running shoes smell of old sweat, there are several steps you can take to revive their scent. First step should be removing laces and insoles – which should be simple to do since they’re typically not secured to the shoe with glue – followed by using an old toothbrush or soft brush for cleaning any additional dirt and debris from them.

Next, mix a solution of warm water and laundry detergent (or another gentle cleaning agent) to use in washing your shoes. Use a soft bristled brush dipped into this solution to scrub away stains both outside and inside of each shoe – including soles that tend to hold smells – using circular strokes before rinsing off in clean water before leaving them to dry fully before wearing back out again.

As another way of deodorizing running shoes, sprinkling baking soda over them should help eliminate any lingering odors. Just be careful that too much baking soda doesn’t damage or fade your shoes; too much might damage or dull their color prematurely. For even faster drying times, consider stuffing newspaper into your shoe to absorb moisture faster and help dry faster.

Cleaning your running shoes regularly and after each use is the best way to prevent them from becoming stinky in the future – this is particularly important if you run in wet or muddy conditions frequently.

Cleaning and deodorizing your running shoes regularly will extend their lifespan, so making an effort is absolutely worth your while. If you prefer not to wash them yourself, there are gentle laundry detergents or products designed specifically for footwear, like Nikwax Sandal and Shoe Wash that provide effective yet gentle solutions – simply follow the directions on their labels to ensure correct and safe cleaning of your running shoes. In addition, cedar wood insoles act as natural anti-fungal and deodorizing agents which will ensure they smell fresh even after long runs!


Experienced runners know the key to cleaning their running shoes effectively is proper drying out. This can help prevent the formation of fungus and bacteria growth, extend their lifespan, and maintain their appearance. One effective and eco-friendly method for drying shoes is placing them before a fan while stuffing them with newspaper.

First, remove the insoles and laces from your shoes and brush off any loose dirt or mud to make drying them faster and reach all areas within. Next, using a brush with stiff or hard bristles, scrub any remaining caked-on mud or dirt that has caked on to all areas of the shoe such as insoles, rubber treads, soles or special patterns on outsoles if available.

Once your shoes have dried completely, it is advisable to store them somewhere out of direct sunlight so they may continue air-drying. Furthermore, it may also help to place old newspapers or paper towels inside each shoe in order to absorb any extra moisture that remains within.

When machine washing your shoes, it is a smart idea to place a pillowcase inside with them for added protection against any possible damage that might occur during the cycle and makes relacing easier afterwards. Furthermore, use cold water cycle with gentle detergent so as to not ruin them!

Once your shoes have been washed and rinsed, stuff them with old newspaper or paper towels to absorb any excess moisture in them before leaving them in a sunny location to dry further. Avoid artificial drying devices like radiators, hair dryers or tumble dryers which emit high temperatures that could melt glue off of shoes – once completely dried out you may lace them back up before storing out of direct sunlight in an air conditioned or ventilated location.